Modeling and simulations

Our research

Modeling and simulations are valuable tools in advancing our understanding of diseases and refining personalized treatments for individual patients. By utilizing mechanistic mathematical approaches such as lumped parameter models and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) we are able to predict and evaluate different diseases and patient specific flows.

We focus on blood flow and physiological predictions in the cardiac system by combining clinical measurements with computer models and simulations. The different measurement modalities range in complexity from blood pressure measurements to 4D flow magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and 4D Computed Tomography (CT). The latter two allow us to look inside of the body and determine biomarkers based on measured flow information with MRI and simulated flow information by combining 4D CT and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). With the established model, exploration can be performed for individual subjects providing a predictive capability for disease progression or post operative outcomes. The research in this group spans both biological and mechanical systems, where in the last category one should think of mechanical circulatory support for patients with advanced heart failure.

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is a powerful tool for simulating blood flow within the human body. To use CFD for simulating blood flow, we construct a 3D model of the blood pool inside the heart, obtained from medical imaging data like CT scans. From time resolved CT scans, we can also calculate how the wall of the heart moves and prescribe this motion in the simulation. CFD works by numerically solving the governing equations of fluid dynamics to simulate the flow of blood. For this, some properties of the blood flow need to be prescribed, such as the blood viscosity and the pressure at the vessels. CFD can provide valuable insights into the distribution of blood, pressure gradients, and potential areas of concern, aiding in the diagnosis and treatment planning for various medical conditions. By studying alteration of the cardiac motion, geometry or other boundary conditions, various physiological phenomena and diseases can be studied in silico, providing new insights into both cardiac physiology and mechanism behind cardiac diseases.

Medical applications of CFD in simulating blood flow are diverse. CFD can be used to study the function of heart valves, the blood flow in the atrium and ventricle under the influence of various cardiac diseases, such as atrial fibrillation or heart failure, as well as during different type of mechanical circulatory support systems.


Flowchart presenting the principle of a personalized cardiovascular model for various of applications.
Flowchart of the process quantifying blood flow and hemodynamic parameters from a CT-examination.